University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Monday, October 15th 2018
12:15 pm:
Speaker: Chris Pankow, Northwestern
Subject: Gravitational-wave Astrophysics with Compact Binary Mergers

The past three years have encompassed a meteoric rise of gravitational-wave astronomy with the activation of second generation gravitational-wave interferometers and the subsequent direct detection of GW150914 --- a gravitational-wave transient from a merging binary black hole. To date, two observing runs have been conducted, the second of which inaugurated a three instrument, worldwide network. I will report the key results driving the birth and growth of gravitational-wave astronomy: stellar mass black hole binaries and their measured masses and spins, the implications for compact binary astrophysics, and the foundation for future population studies. August of 2017 also added a highly anticipated component to multi-messenger astronomy. GW170817, the first binary neutron star detected with gravitational waves, kicked off a monumental joint electromagnetic and gravitational-wave observational campaign --- I will highlight ongoing studies of this watershed event. Finally, I will review the progression towards a more sensitive gravitational-wave network of up to five interferometers and prospects for compact binary detection in the next few years.

Faculty Host: Vuk Mandic

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